The legislative basis for the Department's support of initiatives towards disabled people is section 33 of the Transport Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 This allows support for transport services to benefit certain sections of the public including those who have a disability or are elderly.
Aims of the programme
The aims of the Programme are:
- to target social need by improving accessibility of public transport to people with disabilities who cannot avail of existing conventional services in Northern Ireland
- to complement the work of existing service providers involved in programmes designed to promote social inclusion for people with reduced mobility.
To achieve this, the Programme supports a number of services, in areas that contain a disproportionately high number of people who are mobility impaired and who could sustain a sufficient demand to visit key destinations and utilise these services.
The Programme currently funds a number of activities listed below:
Disability Action Transport Scheme (DATS)
DATS provides a specialised transport service for people living in towns or cities who find it difficult to use public transport. Contact Disability Action to find out more about their scheme:
- Disability Action website
- Disability Action (contacts section)
- Disability Action Transport Scheme (DATS) (nidirect website)
Revenue support is provided to Translink's Easibus services, through the Programme. These services, of which there are 10 in total, operate in Belfast. The services provide accessible local bus services mainly, but not exclusively, for mobility-impaired people who cannot avail of existing conventional services. Customers are drawn from those who reside along the specified routes. For more information please contact Translink on: 028 9066 6630.
The Programme currently provides financial support for Shopmobility schemes in Bangor, Ballymena, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Cookstown, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Lisburn, Derry/Londonderry (known as Foyle), Magherafelt, Newry and Omagh. These schemes lend manual and powered wheelchairs and powered scooters to members of the public with limited mobility to shop and use leisure and commercial facilities. Shopmobility schemes can be seen as the final link in the accessible transport chain.
The Department also funds an umbrella group for Shopmobility in Northern Ireland. The aim of this group (known as Shopmobility NI) is to encourage and support existing and new schemes, through networking, information, training and exchanging news and views. Anyone wishing to have more information on the umbrella group or Shopmobility in general should contact Shopmobility on 0300 10 20 150.Shopmobility Northern Ireland
Advice and support
The Programme funds the work of the Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (Imtac). Imtac advises Government on issues relating to disabled and older people and the transport system. For further information on Imtac, contact the Department or Michael Lorimer at:Imtac
55-59 Adelaide Street
Telephone: 028 9072 6020
Textphone: 028 9072 6016
You can get further information about transport for people with disabilities on the Motoring and Transport section of the NI Direct website.